Fernando Alonso says beating Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo will be Ferrari's target in the Canadian Grand Prix after qualifying behind both Red Bulls.

Ferrari could only qualify seventh with Alonso and tenth with Kimi Raikkonen in Montreal while Vettel starts third and Ricciardo sixth. With Ferrari chasing second place in the constructors' championship, Alonso says the target is beating the two Red Bulls ahead but felt he did all he could during qualifying.

"I think it was the limit," Alonso said. "The lap was very, very good; surprisingly good. We crossed the line and there were six cars faster than us and they have been faster throughout qualifying. It was not like n Q3 suddenly they were there. So it was a difficult Saturday for us and it means that we were not fast enough.

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"The new package and new parts yesterday worked OK. The car felt better and they were an improvement so I am happy with those. I know there are some things coming in the next couple of races which hopefully will put us in a better position.

"Williams is surprisingly good here, Red Bull also was very fast in qualifying and did very well. We want to fight for second place in the constructors'; now it's Red Bull in front of us so we would like to finish in front of them tomorrow if we can."

And Alonso admits Ferrari may have to take some risks on strategy to make up ground as the start will not lend itself to making major progress off the line.

"Obviously the start here is not so easy at the first two corners; it doesn't give you the opportunity to be aggressive and to attack in the same way as Barcelona or Bahrain where there is heavy braking and you can attack. Here we will be in two lines, one will have the inside line for Turn 1 and then the outside for Turn 2, and we need to choose which is better - left or right - when there is not much space from the grid to the first corner.

"In the race we need a car with good pace and with good degradation for the tyres because it's going to be hot so we need to manage the degradation as much as we can. Then we need to choose the right time to stop. Strategy remains open, especially with this temperature change today, so we need to be clever and we need to take risks but definitely we need to finish the race, score points and hopefully in front of all of our main competitors."